Sunrun has announced the debut of its new Level 2 EV charger. The US residential solar installer’s 40-amp Level 2 EV charger can charge an electric vehicle overnight and is compatible with all EV models. It offers smart features, allowing customers to configure settings and control charging, and can be bundled with Sunrun home solar-plus-battery systems. The Level 2 charger will be available in California, New Jersey, and Vermont in September. It will be rolled out across America by year’s end. Sunrun is the official charging partner of Ford and its F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, which serves as backup power supply for homes and small businesses via its vehicle-to-grid direct current configuration.
Hertz has reported a 50% to 60% decrease in maintenance costs for its EV fleet, compared to internal combustion engine vehicles. “It’s probably a slightly higher expense on tires, but not much more,” said Stephen Scherr, the CEO of the car rental company, during a recent second-quarter earnings call. Hertz initially ordered 100,000 Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles last year, followed by a 65,000-unit deal with Polestar just months later. It said its adoption of EVs has resulted in a major spike in interest. “We’ve recorded over 160,000 transaction days using Tesla cars, booked at premium rates that are typically $30 to $35 in excess of comparable average rates. Customers are enjoying the Tesla EV experience,” said Scherr.
Nissan is preparing to launch a new rental plan for its EVs, in response to shortages of battery raw materials. As reported by the Financial Times, the manufacturer of the Nissan Leaf plans to operate a subscription scheme under which customers in Japan will be allowed to sign up on a monthly basis. However, the Japanese carmaker hopes they will rent its EVs for years before returning them. The initiative will allow Nissan to keep its EVs inside the country, where the batteries can be reused in stationary storage applications or recycled for precious metals such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel, which are in increasingly short supply.
BYD has achieved its highest monthly vehicle sales to date. The Chinese EV heavyweight's July figures rose 22% from June, when it sold more than 134,000 New Energy Vehicles (NEV), including battery EVs and hybrids. It continues to enter new markets with passenger car models outside of China. Most recently, BYD partnered with Shlomo Motors to launch its NEVs in the Israeli market. Under the terms of the agreement, Shlomo Motors will provide sales and after-sales services to passenger car customers throughout Israel, with the first shipment scheduled to arrive in the third quarter of this year.
Ingka Group, which owns IKEA stores, has revealed plans to expand its EV charger network with more than 1,000 new charging points by the end of 2024. Last year, the group reached its goal of providing EV charging stations in all of its stores throughout the world where parking is provided. It is now looking to expand the network through a partnership with Norway-based operator Recharge. Specifically, Ikea Sweden will add 700 new charging points and Ikea Norway will install more than 300 new charging stations. More than 300 of the charging points will deliver fast charging, allowing for EVs to be fully charged in 15 to 45 minutes. The charging stations will be available to customers and employees, and will be used to charge IKEA home delivery trucks.
Nexeon has raised more than $200 million to fund battery materials production. The UK battery developer plans to use the funds to mass produce tens of thousands of metric tons annually of its silicon-based anode materials, which are used in lithium-ion batteries. Nexeon said that its technology has four times more energy density by weight than conventional graphite anodes, ensuring a dramatic improvement in performance.
Sakuu, a 3D-printed solid-state battery developer, has revealed that it has opened a new engineering hub in California. The multimillion dollar buildout follows the recent opening of its pilot facility, which is now producing batteries for customers. The new facility will allow Sakuu to scale its 3D printing battery platform, so it can eventually open gigafactories around the world, with a total energy output goal of 60 GWh by 2028. The new facility will showcase two of Sakuu’s flagship products. Its Kavian platform can rapidly print ultra-high energy density solid-state batteries at scale, in custom shapes and sizes. And its non-battery manufacturing platforms can produce medical devices, IoT sensors, and other cutting-edge electrical devices. Earlier this year, Sakuu announced the benchmark energy-density achievement of 800 Wh/L in its first-generation non-printed lithium metal battery.
Gensol Engineering is entering the EV market with affordable personal mobility and cargo electric vehicles priced in the $6,292 to $7,550 range. The Indian renewables company plans to establish its EV manufacturing facility in Chakan, Pune – the largest of India’s four auto manufacturing clusters. It expects the plant to start production from October and take deliveries from January 2023. The plant will have a production capacity of 1,200 units per month. The company will launch personal mobility vehicles with a range of 100 km to 200 km, speeds of 80 km per hour, and charging times of three hours. They will come equipped with remote access and geo-fencing, 4G cloud connectivity, and air-conditioned/heated cabins, with AI-powered insights and over-the-air updates.
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